Michael Berger at Nanowerk is reporting on recent research out of Spain to embed microelectronics within living cells, a feat that promises to provide intracellular sensing for research and medical monitoring applications. Turns out we’re not very far away from this reality due to the nanoscale production of modern microprocessors.
A tidbit from Nanowerk:
In their experiments, the Spanish team fabricated different batches of polysilicon chips and then chose the most suitable device type with lateral dimensions of 1.5-3μm and with a thickness of 0.5 μm to be placed inside living cells. Cells were taken from Dictyostelium discoideum and human HeLa cells.
To further demonstrate the versatility of the technique, they studied the integration of different materials in a single chip and their 3D nanostructuring capability by using other common microelectronics techniques such as FIB milling.
After inserting the chips into the live cells, the researchers made sure that the cells remained alive and healthy. They found that over 90% of the chip-containing containing HeLa cell population remained viable 7 days after lipofection.
Read on at Nanowerk: Future bio-nanotechnology will use computer chips inside living cells…
Abstract in Small: Intracellular Silicon Chips in Living Cells